"Grayson": This story is reprinted from Grayson #1.
Young Gotham Sampler is a one-shot with a cover date of August, 2015. It was published on June 3, 2015.
Synopsis for "Grayson"
This story is reprinted from Grayson #1.
Dick Grayson has taken on a number of roles in his lifetime, from acrobat to super-hero. Now, though, he is a spy. In Russia, he deftly leaps onto the roof of a moving train on the Trans-Siberian Railway. His handler, known as "Matron," informs him that she'll be impressed when he makes it inside - a challenge that will require defeating the gunman who crawls across the roof toward him. From afar, Black Oak reports back to his superiors that the impressive spy who has just defeated a Russian Foreign Intelligence officer atop a train is en route to the asset.
Matron, meanwhile, watches covertly as her target - Ninel Dubov - seems to be showing resistance to her attempt to have him drugged. He has fallen in with an attractive young woman who prevented her from further attempts, and Matron warns that the pair are now heading Dick's way. The young woman leads Dubov to the train's bar, where Dick is already waiting. He insinuates himself upon their conversation, trying to woo the girl away from him and then feigning an accidental spill of his wine on her white dress. Hurriedly, the girl rushes to the washroom to clean up and check back in with her partner - who happens to be the spy that Dick knocked out on his way into the train. As she leaves the rest room, the woman suddenly feels faint, and Matron comments that it is because the wine that was spilled on her chest contained a paralytic agent.
In the meantime, Dick had to drag a sleeping Dubov through the bathroom window and out onto the roof of the train again. He had to nerve pinch the man into unconsciousness - despite the ready availability of a hypnos implant that he admittedly is not confident enough to use. Unfortunately, once Dick gets Dubov off the train and to the drop point, he comes under fire by more Russian Foreign Intelligence agents. As Dubov begins to wake, Dick is forced to use his hypnos implant to convince the man to help him. The tactic works, and soon, the pair are running toward a nearby nuclear silo.
In the silo, Dick is confused when Dubov suddenly collapses. Sensing something isn't right, he searches for the source of the attack and discovers Midnighter has tranquilized Dubov. The man warns that Dubov is dangerous, and better off dead. He sees that Dick was well trained, and demands to know just who he is working for. When Dick tries to use his hypnos implant on him, he realizes that his adversary must be working for Spyral - which means that he is there merely to exploit Dubov. Tired of going easy on him, Midnighter prepares for a real fight, but he is instantly tossed through the wall of the silo by Dubov, who is still bound by hypnosis to help Dick.
Unfortunately, Dubov overheard the conversation, and the radioactive energy building within him is at its peak. Dick realizes that Dubov can't be extracted in this state, and he will have to find a way to burn off that energy. As such, he admits that he is merely using Dubov, and angers him. The man attacks using his radioactive blasts, and carefully Dick leaps out of the way. When the energy is exhausted, Dick grabs him up and carries him to the extraction point.
Back at Spyral headquarters, Dick and Matron are congratulated on their fine work by the company's leader, Mister Minos, who promises that Dubov will have his dangerous implant removed and be placed at a resort in Sochi.
Since joining Spyral, Dick has been living in a private dorm at Saint Hadrian's Finishing School for Girls. That night, he Jerry-rigs his clock-radio into a transmission device to report back to Batman, but he is interrupted in his report by a knock at the door from Matron. She is Helena Bertinelli, and though Dick is new to the job, she is impressed by his skill with the hypnos implant. To his surprise, she moves in seductively, and he has to snap himself out of it in order to comply with Spyral's rules that there are to be no relationships between agents. She smirks in response, pointing out that she, at least, doesn't need hypnos.
Elsewhere, a Spyral scientist called Frau Netz reports back to Mister Minos that an organ she harvested from Dubov is indeed part of the Paragon Protocol. Her father had once used Spyral to kill super-humans, but Mister Minos intends to use it instead as a means of discovering their identities. After all, with godhood must come transparency. He has already used it to discovered the identities of many of the Earth's heroes.
Appearing in "Grayson"
- Ninel Dubov
- Gardner (Behind the scenes)
- Midnighter/Black Oak
- Penguin (Flashback only) (Cameo)
- Paragon (Cameo)
- Riddler (Flashback only) (Cameo)
- The Joker (Flashback only) (Cameo)
- Batman/Matches Malone (Flashback only) and (Behind the scenes) (in the Main story)
- Flying Graysons (Flashback only) (Cameo)
- Agent Zero (Appears only as a corpse)
- Aquaman (On a TV or computer screen)
- Batgirl (On a TV or computer screen)
- Batwing (On a TV or computer screen)
- Batwoman (On a TV or computer screen)
- Blue Beetle (On a TV or computer screen)
- Booster Gold (On a TV or computer screen)
- Cyborg (On a TV or computer screen)
- Deadman (On a TV or computer screen)
- Dove (On a TV or computer screen)
- Green Arrow (On a TV or computer screen)
- Green Lantern (On a TV or computer screen)
- Hawk (On a TV or computer screen)
- Red Robin (On a TV or computer screen)
- Supergirl (On a TV or computer screen)
- Superman (On a TV or computer screen) (Cameo)
- The Flash (On a TV or computer screen)
- Wonder Woman (On a TV or computer screen)
- Checkmate (Mentioned only)
- CIA (Mentioned only)
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
- Trans-Mongolian Line
Synopsis for "Burned"
This story is reprinted from Batgirl (Volume 4) #35.
Having moved out of her apartment in Cherry Hill, and into a new one in Burnside, Barbara Gordon receives a rude awakening from her new roommate Frankie and her friend Liz, urging her to get up and attend to her guest. Woozily, Barbara shuffles out of her room, and is surprised to see a shirtless man named Troy waiting for her, whom Frankie assures her that Babs made out with until she finally pulled them apart and sent them to separate beds.
Hungover and seeking coffee, Barbara checks her messages on the way to Chiroptera. The funding for her graduate research on urban geography has been held up, and her bank account is overdrawn. A message from Alysia warns her not to party too hard, having heard Babs went out, the night before. Frankie, meanwhile, texts Troy's coffee order, to Barbara's dismay. As she places her orders, one of the shop's other patrons begins complaining that his tablet was stolen while he was in the bathroom. Despite her dishevelled stated, Barbara's eidetic memory is still intact, and she recalls that someone had left with a tablet just as she was coming in.
Considering the fastest route, she chases the thief down and corners him in an alley. He misjudges her by her youthful appearance, and is punished for it, taking a fist in the jaw. Though he gives up the stolen device, Barbara doesn't feel that serving justice was as satisfying as usual. Her exertion triggered her nausea, and she hurls into a nearby trash can.
Returning to her apartment, Babs is surprised and dismayed to find Dinah Drake sitting on her stairs - particularly since she had already warned Dinah that she didn't want to see her. Dinah apologizes, but admits that she's come because she needs help. Barbara tries to insist that she leave, but Dinah confides that she has nowhere to go. Her home - and the dojo beneath it - were burnt to the ground the night before. Everything she owns fits into her a single grocery bag. Worriedly, Barbara realizes that all of her equipment was hidden in Dinah's apartment while she moved. Angrily, Dinah accuses her of selfishness, reminding that it was her life that was taken from her, and insisting that if the fire was super-villain related, Babs will have to help her.
They head up to Babs' apartment, where Frankie demands the coffee that Barbara failed to get, and reacts with uncomfortable acquiescence when she is informed that Dinah will be staying a while. Barbara explains that her van's cameras upload directly to her laptop on a twenty minute delay, which means that she and Dinah can try to see how or when the fire started - except her laptop has gone missing. Worriedly, she asks Frankie if she saw her laptop last night, but Frankie can only tell her that Troy's phone is also missing - maybe they were robbed.
With difficulty, Barbara tries to focus on the events of the previous night. Though her memory of it all is fuzzy, it is still eidetic. Using it, she recalls a man who stood out from the others as not belonging there. Frankie identifies him as her friend Sevin's date for the night, of whom she disapproved. Barbara asks for Sevin's number, as well as Liz' friend Diane's, whom, Babs recalls from overhearing a conversation earlier that morning, had her phone stolen by a date she met on an app called Hooq.
In meeting both Sevin and Diane, Barbara learns that they both met bad dates on Hooq, called Jason and Andrew, respectively. Diane's date had started off well enough until he spilled a desert on her, and when she cleaned it off in the bathroom, she returned to find he'd stolen her phone and left. Sevin suspected from the beginning that his date wasn't even gay, and it went so badly that he wouldn't be surprised at all if Jason had stolen Barbara's laptop and Troy's phone, too.
For research purposes, Barbara asks Frankie to help her set up a dating profile on Hooq. Gleefully, Frankie gives her a makeover for her profile photo. She then insists on writing Barbara's profile for her, reminding that as an employee of Hooq, she knows exactly what the boys are looking for in a profile.
While she waits for her profile to garner attention, Barbara sets to work at making herself a new Batgirl uniform. Soon, she receives a message from a man calling himself Brad, and she recognizes him immediately as the same man that Sevin had brought to the party.
Moments before the agreed upon time to meet, Barbara sends "Brad" a message to cancel, but Batgirl arrives right on time, and calls him out on his crimes. He makes a run for it, showing his guilt, and so she beats him into submission, taking his phone from him, learning with some amusement that his real name is Frederick Ernest Butteroil. He admits under duress that he is stealing devices for someone called Riot Black, whom Barbara has heard of before. Grumpily, she wipes his phone and leaves something on it for Black, insisting that Frederick put the phone right into Riot Black's hands.
Riot Black is essentially an online extortionist, using a website called The Black Book to blackmail people by leaking sensitive data about them. It had been shut down once already, but a relaunch party is being held at a Burnside club, where Batgirl prepares to confront Riot Black and put a stop to his crimes. She warns that she has evidence that he's obtaining private data illegally, and offers him just one chance to delete it. When he refuses, she attacks, but it becomes clear that she can't take him down the easy way, thanks to a flash drive inside his head. So, she offers a deal. If he will give up the data, she will give him the more valuable data that is her secret identity. He demands that the evidence of her identity be sent via an app, but instead of a picture of her unmasked face, he receives an image with a QR Code with an embedded worm virus that begins deleting all of the data within the implanted flash drive - including all of the stuff he intended to blackmail people with.
Despite her victory, Barbara's own school work and files have also been wiped clean. She'll have to start from scratch. Sympathizing, Frankie confesses that she slept with Troy after Babs went to sleep at the party, which doesn't bother Barbara much, though she thought Frankie was exclusively a lesbian. Dinah interrupts, grumpily, wanting to sleep on the couch, and Barbara warns her that she could be nicer, but Dinah's mood after losing her home can't be improved. Guiltily, Barbara admits that she is concerned that the fire might have been her fault, caused by Riot Black triggering an incendiary in her van via her stolen laptop. This only serves to enrage Dinah more - but Barbara is distracted from dealing with it when she receives a text message from someone who seems to know her secret identity, and claims that Batgirl isn't cut out to protect Burnside.
Appearing in "Burned"
- Riot Black (First appearance)
- Frederick Ernest Butteroil (First appearance)
- Troy (First appearance)
- Sevin Gupta (First appearance)
- Diane (First appearance)
- Ben Wiley (First appearance)
- Natasha Holloway (First appearance)
- Donna (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Welcome to Gotham Academy"
This story is reprinted from Gotham Academy #1.
With a storm brewing over the prestigious Gotham Academy, Olive Silverlock worries about what fate awaits her after she and Maps Mizoguchi were called before the headmaster - whom Olive refers to as "Hammer-Head." Catching Maps in the act of calling him that, Headmaster Hammer warns her to treat him respectfully as he explains that he assigned Olive as Maps' "nanny" to help her acclimate to campus life as a first year student. He warns Olive, though, to avoid the North Hall in her tour, as an incident has rendered the area structurally unsound.
Grumpily, Olive hurries Maps across the campus' courtyard through the rain, bemoaning the fact that she has been selected to chaperone her ex-boyfriend's little sister around on her first day of her second year at the academy. She feels trapped there, now, and after her unpleasant experience over the past summer, she's too afraid to go anywhere else. Lost in her thoughts, Olive accidentally bumps into the hated Pomeline Fritch, who mockingly reminds her not to be late for their shared history class, lest let her Wayne Foundation scholarship go to waste. Having dropped her books, Oliver frustratedly warns Maps to get to class so that she can be alone.
In Ms. Macpherson's history class, Olive reflects on the diaries of Millie Jane Cobblepot, with whom she identifies as an outsider. Millie had had some inkling of her family's misdeeds, even at the age of twelve, and she had been an outsider among them. Her thoughts are interrupted again by Colton Rivera, who throws something at her head. Olive's relationship with her peers remains adversarial.
At lunch, Olive overhears the other students spreading rumours that the North Hall she was warned away from is haunted, and in some ways, she feels envious of the ghost. Maps spots her sitting alone at her table, and waves. Without enthusiasm, Olive waves back until she realizes that her wave has caught Maps' brother Kyle's attention, and she hides her face, embarrassed. Maps invites her to join her at lunch, but Olive makes excuses, opting to go instead to the library. Her smile fading, Maps comments that she misses the way that she, Olive and Kyle used to share their lunches together before the breakup, and worries that her friend doesn't like her anymore. Olive doesn't answer, instead passing by Colton's spot at the lunch table and intentionally spilling his bag's contents onto the floor, revealing to the attending teacher that he has been trying to sell the other students fireworks.
Afterwards, Olive returns to her room, and worries that she is becoming someone she isn't supposed to be - doesn't want to be. Annoyed at Olive's morose behaviour, her roommate Lucy complains that when Olive was normal, she was helpful in cleaning their room. Wiping tears from her eyes as she examines a photo of her mother pinned to her mirror, Olive stands and leaves the room without a word.
Olive decides that she needs to get out of her funk, and turns to Maps, who still remembers exactly who she is. Feigning aloofness, Maps draws a map of the school grounds as Olive sits down beside her and offers to skip the imminent assembly in favour of exploring the creepy parts of the old chapel together. Seeing that Olive has softened in her attitude, and hopes to rebuild their friendship, Maps smiles.
The assembly itself is being held in the chapel, but Maps and Olive head instead to the loft of the chapel, which is typically used for storage. Peering through one of the windows, Maps realizes that she can see into the North Hall from that vantage point, and she believes she can see something with glowing eyes moving over there. Tugging off the boards barring their way, Olive suggests that they go up to the belfry for a better look. Armed with a flashlight, Maps leads the way, though the stairs are old and the wood is weak, requiring them to cooperate in getting higher. Soon, they are at the top of the stairs, and Maps gleefully declares her intent to chart the whole grounds from that view. Peering into the North Hall through her binoculars, Maps tries to spot the ghost, but Olive is distracted by the sight of the Bat-Signal illuminated over Gotham.
Suddenly, the parapet crumbles beneath Maps, and she falls from the belfry, clinging desperately to an outcropping gargoyle. Desperately, Olive thrusts her hand out, but Maps is too afraid to let go and grab it. So, Olive rushes back to the belfry, and grabs the rope and uses it to rappel down the side of the chapel, causing the big bell to ring. Though Olive grabs her friend's hands, a swarm of bats causes them to lose their footing, and they swing past the windows on the main floor, interrupting Bruce Wayne's keynote speech at the assembly. Bruce recognizes Olive, with a grim look.
As Olive is examined by the school doctor, she hazily sees the silhouette of the Batman before her, and reacts with horror, triggering a flashback to a traumatic moment, in which he took someone from her. Worriedly, Ms. Macpherson tries to calm her, and Olive realizes that the man she had seen was Bruce Wayne and not Batman. He explains that he wanted to see that she wasn't hurt, and commends her for saving her friend's life. Maps and Kyle, meanwhile, show up to check on her as well, with Maps grinning that Olive had swooped down to save her like the Batman. Bruce Wayne sees by Olive's reaction that she has negative feelings about Batman.
Returning to her room, Olive hears a scream and opens the door to find Lucy cowering under a blanket claiming that the ghost is watching them with shining eyes. Looking out the window for herself, Olive sees the Bat-Signal shining in the sky once again, pointing out that it does so every night. She promises that it will be safe for both of them to stay in the room, and agrees to stay with Lucy all night to comfort her.
In the wall, though, there is a crack. And through it, something is watching them.
Appearing in "Welcome to Gotham Academy"
- Olive Silverlock (First appearance)
- Maps Mizoguchi (First appearance)
- Professor MacPherson (First appearance)
- Professor Milo
- Lucy Hunt (First appearance)
- Bruce Wayne
- Headmaster Hammer (First appearance)
- Heathcliff (First appearance)
- Katherine Karlo I (In a photograph only) (First appearance)
- Katherine Karlo (First appearance; unnamed)
- Kyle Mizoguchi (First appearance)
- Ms. Harriet (First appearance)
- Sherk (First appearance; unnamed)
- Warren (First appearance)
- Mr. Trent (In a photograph only)
- Sybil Silverlock (In a photograph only) (First appearance)
- Thomas Wayne (Mentioned only)
- Martha Wayne (Mentioned only)
- Mr. Scarlett (Mentioned only)
- Basil Karlo (Mentioned only)
- Millie Jane Cobblepot (Mentioned only)
- H. Herman Dent (Statue only)
- Gotham Academy
- Saint Marcus Chapel
- The Dorms
- Cheap reprint promoting the releases of Grayson: Agents of Spyral (Collected), Batgirl: The Batgirl of Burnside (Collected) and Gotham Academy: Welcome to Gotham Academy (Collected).